Nornickel, the worldwide important Russian producer of nickel, palladium, platinum and copper, continues to work on eliminating the water intrusion at its Oktiabrsky and Taymir mines. The groundwater inflow has not yet been stopped. The company announced this in a press release on February 9, 2021.

Nornickel has not yet been able to eliminate the water ingress at its two mines
Nornickel has not yet been able to eliminate the water ingress at its two mines

What had happened at the Nornickel mines?

Nornickel had reported serious water intrusion at its two major nickel mines on February 24, 2021 (Source). As a result, there had been repeated delays in restoration (Source).

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Water intrusion possibly stopped at one mine next week

“By now, one of the mine workings has been filled with hardening backfill mixture. In the coming week, once the mixture will harden, water valves will be shut and the inflow of groundwater should stop,” said Senior Vice President, Head of Norilsk Division, Nikolay Utkin.

New schedule unlikely until after March 16, 2021

The company said it plans to review the timetable for restoring the two mines once ongoing operations are completed by March 16.

Norilsk concentrator is shut down and being repaired

The Norilsk concentrator is currently completely shut down and undergoing necessary repairs. The company plans to restore the ore processing circuit at the concentrator by March 16 by improving the loading and processing flow. The plant is currently being inspected by the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostekhnadzor) and the company’s internal technical auditors. A decision on when to restart the concentrator will be made after these two inspections are completed.

Ore mining at Zapolyarny mine not affected

While the Norilsk concentrator remains shut down, ore mining continues at the Zapolyarny mine, the South Cluster project.


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